We love making paper mache frames because they can be custom made to match the theme of the painting or the photograph they are made for.
Most of our paintings have an African theme so we like to use earthy materials and natural colours.
We've found sand to be very useful for achieving this. It also adds strength and gives the frames a wonderful texture too.
Click on the thumbnail or the title of the piece for a larger image and details of how it was made.
This paper mache picture frame was custom made for an acrylic painting that Annemarie did of some sand dunes in Namibia.
The sand she used to decorate it mirrors the theme of the painting perfectly.
This large picture frame measures about 40cm x50cm (approx 16" x 20") and was made using old cardboard packaging, potato sacking and the glass from a damaged clip frame.
This small picture frame was made specifically for this painting of the cheetahs.
It measures 20cm x 15cm (approx 10" x 8")
This frame was built around an existing clip frame.It was custom made for a painting in Annemarie's private collection.
The biggest potential problem with paper mache frames is their tendency to warp. Because of the shape, often long narrow strips, the edges can twist when they are wet.
We deal with it by first painting the cardboard with a 50:50 mixture of water and PVA glue and letting it dry. This helps to prevent too much water absorption when you start adding the paper strips.
It also helps to paste the strips first one way and then the other. Paper has a grain and when it shrinks (as it always does as it dries) it can pull in the direction of the grain. If you lay the paper in opposite directions with each layer, it pulls against itself and stays fairly flat.
If the worst happens and we find the frame warping badly we wait until it is dry to the touch then place it on a flat surface and pile heavy books on it to flatten it out. That usually does the trick.
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